Lawyers ask for more time to manage stalled class action

Steve Korris Oct. 4, 2006, 2:54pm

Brad Lakin

Attorney Brad Lakin has dusted off a Madison County class action suit that stalled after a grand jury indicted his class action leader, Gary Peel.

Gerald Walters of the Lakin firm asked Circuit Judge Daniel Stack on Sept. 29 to push back deadlines in the case of Dian Turner v. ITI Internet Services, Bancorp Bank and Moonlight Marketing.

In a motion for extension Walters wrote, "…the parties have not been able to undertake or complete discovery with regard to class certification issues nor have the depositions of any of the parties been taken."

Nothing had happened in the case since April 13, when Peel withdrew from Turner's suit and all his other class actions at the Lakin firm.

Peel left the firm after federal grand jurors charged him with obstruction of justice, bankruptcy fraud and possession of child pornography.

Lakin has tried to move about half of Peel's suits forward, though judges keep dismissing those. In other cases his firm has done little or nothing.

Turner sued last year, claiming Moonlight Marketing improperly tendered a check on her bank account number through ITI Internet Services and Bancorp Bank.

Thomas Maag, then of the Lakin firm, signed the complaint.

At a hearing before Stack last year Maag argued against a defense motion while Peel watched from the gallery.

Maag loudly called Virgil Llapitan to the stand. Heads swiveled but no one took the stand.

As it turned out Llapitan, a manager for one of the defendants, lived in Tacoma, Wash. He had received notice to appear at the hearing the previous Saturday.

At a hearing last Dec. 21, Stack signed a scheduling order that would have brought him the last of the class certification briefs on Oct. 6.

Soon after that, Maag left the Lakin firm to team with Brian Wendler of Collinsville.

Walters filed a brief under Peel's direction in February, but then the case stalled.

Walters in his Sept. 29 motion asked for a conference on a new schedule. He wrote that defendants did not object.

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